Club run reports - 12th November

Club run reports - 12th November

13 Nov 17

Category 6 ride led by Danny Hood

The first brass monkey day of this winter surprised me with its turnout of hardy Wheelers. One of our regular posse had informed me he was wimping out, and to be honest I'm amazed it was only one, well as far as I know, anyway. Fourteen set off for what was advertised as a ride to Emily's, but don't believe all you read! Mr Mason being the well prepared person he is, had done a bit of investigating and discovered that The North Roaders were heading Emily's too. Now everyone knows that the wait at said venue can be, to say the least, quite long, even on a good day, and the thought of 14 of us lining up outside in near freezing temperatures was not appealing. Added to that, the North Road contingent, who even giving us an hour head start, would probably still beat us there, meant that the cafe stop was changed to Codicote Garden Centre. All was going along swimmingly until about 15 mins from Codicote we discovered our 14 was now 13. Will had vanished somehow en route and, despite my protest about not leaving him or going to look for him, I was out voted and off we went sans Will. Well that's how I remember it!
We arrived at the garden centre just before 11 am and observed the 2 minute silence before heading in for some warming victuals.
As I sat down to eat I noticed that I'd had a missed call and, guessing it was Will, rang him back to discover he was in some unknown lady's car heading to a bike shop hoping to buy some inner tubes. He had suffered a puncture and dropped of the back without anyone noticing or hearing his yells for help. As luck would have it, the lady was driving through Codicote at the time and was able to drop him off. His puncture was fixed with a borrowed tube and some skills more suited to a formula 1 pit crew than a bike's rear wheel in a cafe, but needs must. No more punctures or losses on the way back, just some cold feet and tired legs. See the ya all again next week.

Category 3 ride led by Graham Knight

It was a bright, breezy and cold start in Ware and, with the leader promising the first hour into a headwind, the usual Wheelers' enthusiasm for a ride was a little muted. However, the arrival of Barry at 9:32 reminded all that it was time to set off. On the way up to High Cross, Paul M joined us for a stretch, so, briefly, we were 11.

The headwind was certainly there, especially on the open section north of Hare Street - though Gareth and guest David Whitehouse seemed to possess some magic ingredient that rendered it powerless (fitness maybe?). Nevertheless all made it to Barley in reasonable order. Here Barry found a sneaky route through a pub car park to take us past a Remembrance Sunday road closure. Now the wind was no longer ahead - maybe even helping a bit as we climbed to Chishill. At the summit, with 6 miles down hill to Wendens Ambo ahead, the bulk of the outward leg seemed done and thoughts turned to imminent bacon sandwiches. Unfortunately Steve G now punctured. Nobly he told the rest to continue. Even more nobly, Leigh stayed with him to assist. Sadly the repair was lengthy and the two decided to forego the bacon sandwiches and returned home.

Having climbed to Saffron Walden we ran into another Remembrance Sunday road closure. This was a more serious affair complete with vans across the road, security guards and police with machine guns. We were forced to undertake a clickety-clack cleated walk down the hill to the Mocha café. Barry, who has paused somewhere due to a mysterious issue of his own, arrived at the barrier somewhat after the rest, assumed we had foregone the lunch stop and proceeded on his way in futile pursuit. On the other hand, at the bottom of the hill a man was perceived pushing a strange yellow vehicle - John H had arrived having followed a route of his own devising.

The town centre ceremonies had brought custom to the Mocha and there was a lengthy wait for service (each cappuccino seemed to take five minutes to prepare).  Eventually, though, all were fed and watered and we were on our way again. The return was via Newport, Clavering, the Pelhams and the Hadhams. Peter W chose to puncture in what was probably the coldest spot in Essex, just under the M11 bridge. Apart from that, the ride went smoothly and, for the most part, swiftly with a following wind. The leader abandoned the remnants of his flock in Hadham and supposes they made it back to Ware without incident.